Recent Op-Eds

Jul 07, 2017
Since the Donald Trump Administration took office, an ocean of ink has been spilled scrutinizing Democrats' minority status in Washington, rehashing the presidential race from every angle, second-guessing recent House special election losses – especially the recent race in Georgia – and generally wondering how the party can get back on track.It's largely thanks to this outpouring that Americans are now familiar with the supposedly tidy division between Bernie Sanders–style progressives and Hillary Clinton–style pragmatists, vying for what is sometimes called "the soul of the party." This ongoing conversation has drawn in Democrats in elected office at every level, myself included.
Jun 01, 2017
The Trump Administration is poised to isolate itself from reality once again – this time by potentially withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate agreement. One-hundred-and-ninety-five countries thought it prudent to protect their populations from the consequences of climate change. President Trump – unlike any other head of state – seems willing to put Americans in harm's way.The security implications of backing out would be dire. The problem only worsens if you broaden your definition of security threat to include those releasing dangerous chemicals into the world. Every year, according to the International Energy Agency, 6.5 million people around the world die from fossil-fueled air pollution. That grim tally includes hundreds of thousands of Americans. This means more people are dying from fossil fuels than any other enemy out there. It's easy to imagine the White House would lead the international community into immediate action against any terrorist group – or any other sort of adversary – that did what fossil fuels do to the American people.
May 27, 2017
For Americans worried about where our environmental policies are headed, it's important to remind ourselves that we have many important milestones to our credit. On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant – a Republican – signed the bill that declared Yellowstone the world's first national park, a vision of conservation that nearly every country now follows. A century later, on Dec. 28, 1973, President Richard Nixon – also a Republican – signed the Endangered Species Act into law.
Jan 24, 2017
For six years now, Republicans have tied their political fortunes in Washington to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Despite the fact that millions of Americans would lose medical coverage–the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates 18 million people within a year–and despite the fact that it would throw our entire health insurance system into disarray, the GOP has focused like a laser on unraveling this achievement that is vital to the health of our nation. Now, as they inch closer to making their misguided goal a reality, we're beginning to see the real motives behind the push for repeal–and they have nothing to do with the quality or cost of health care. This is about tax cuts for the rich at the expense of the poor, plain and simple.
Nov 15, 2016
Elections have consequences. We have to assume that some of Donald Trump's worst campaign rhetoric on race, gender and religion will be prominent in his policies and legislation as president.
Oct 27, 2016
In August, the Department of Justice directed its Bureau of Prisons to begin phasing out the use of privately operated, for-profit prisons. The decision followed an agency internal review, which found that private prisons are more costly, less effective and more dangerous than those run by the government.
Aug 25, 2016
Recent news of Aetna's departure from the Affordable Care Act marketplace sent shockwaves throughout our country. Nowhere was the impact felt more strongly than my home state of Arizona, where nearly 10,000 people in Pinal county may be left without a single marketplace plan. News that Aetna had threatened in advance to leave the exchange system if they didn't get their way in a merger deal is infuriating for Arizonans who are now completely vulnerable as a result of their ploy. It highlights the systemic problems of relying on only for-profit insurers to supply our nation's health care, and re-opens the debate surrounding a public option for health care.
Jun 30, 2016
My heart is heavy for the Pulse nightclub victims and their families. I am sorry for this loss cutting our nation deeper than words can express, and deeply saddened that our immigration laws are preventing some families from even attending their loved one's funerals.
Jun 16, 2016
This past March, our state became a poster case for voter disenfranchisement in the 21st century. Lines lasting three, four and even five hours in the desert sun are utterly unacceptable in a nation that prides itself as the foremost democracy in the world. Equally alarming are widespread reports of errors involving voter identification, registration and party affiliation plagued polling locations that were difficult for residents to access and not adequately stocked with ballots.
Apr 27, 2016
Last June, I wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling for a Department of Justice investigation into the death of a man named José de Jesús Deniz-Sahagún. A Mexican national being held at Eloy Detention Center outside of Phoenix, Deniz-Sahagún's life came to an end under circumstances every bit as desolate and isolated as his imprisonment in the Arizona desert. The 31-year-old detainee took his own life the day after a mental health worker placed him on constant watch for delusional thoughts and behavior. Less than 24 hours later, that evaluation was disregarded. Deniz-Sahagún was left unattended, and soon after, found dead.

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